GUYTON — The South Effingham boys’ basketball team is gearing up for the Metter Christmas Tournament starting Friday.
Metter will play host to the Mustangs, Dodge County and Southeast Bulloch's boys and girls teams.
Although many teams compete in holiday tournaments as a buffer for region play, Mustangs head coach Jesse Osborne is hopeful the contests will help his squad turn over a new leaf.
“We are struggling in the wins category,” Osborne said. “It’s a different group. I didn’t have the summer with these guys. We are learning everything on the fly as we go. We are implementing it as we need it. That’s a struggle in itself.
"There’s only three guys on the team that had varsity experience last year. That in itself adds a little bit of a challenge. We are growing as a team and figuring out week by week who can help us and who is going to step up. It’s getting better. It’s a work in progress.”
The Mustangs, featuring starters Taylor Jackson, Matthew Calloway, Eric Norman, Chase Warren and Tyrese Everett, are averaging just 41 points per game, which has attributes to their 1-10 record.
Osborne is hopeful that his team can get a win and boost of confidence in road play. The Mustangs are 0-6 away from home.
“(The tournament opponents) are young teams figuring out identities so, hopefully ,we can get a win or two out of it and grow,” Osborne said.
Osborne gave his players some time off during the Christmas break to regroup and refocus, encouraging them to come back with a renewed spirit.
“I told them go home, enjoy time with (their) family and come back with the mindset that we are 0-0,” he said. “It’s a new year. We’ll bring it in, hopefully, with new traditions and expectations.”